By Emma Kirkpatrick
Vladimir Gritsenko, a recent graduate with a Master of Science in Communication degree, is currently working in Moscow, Russia, at Ketchum, a global public relations and marketing agency centered in New York.
Ketchum is one of the most geographically diverse communication agencies in the world, and as of 2010, is also located in Moscow, operating as Ketchum Maslov — a full-service Russian public relations company.
Gritsenko studied communication at NC State on a Fulbright scholarship, a competitive program created by former Senator J. William Fulbright that provides grants to allow students and professionals to travel on international educational exchanges. Gritsenko took public relations courses with Dr. Melissa Johnson, as well as classes in marketing research and product management at NC State’s Jenkins Graduate School of Management.
“PR as a discipline has not been around for long in Russia, and it was an invaluable experience to study PR in a country where it has existed for so many years,” said Gritsenko. “I had marketing and PR experience before I came to the U.S. working at a Russian IT firm that sold products both in Russia and internationally, but taking communication courses at NC State brought my theoretical knowledge to a whole new level.”
During his last semester at NC State, Gritsenko took an internship class and worked part-time at Blueforest Studios, a video advertising agency located in North Raleigh. “I wrote copy materials and blog posts, advanced my Google AdWords skills and helped the team to prepare advertising content for both the U.S. and Russian markets,” said Gritsenko. “Taking an internship class at NC State allowed me to work at an American company and experience a different working culture. While being business oriented and time management conscious, the Blueforest team was very welcoming and knew how to have fun afterhours.”
Gritsenko enjoys working with multiple clients preparing information materials in English and Russian, communicating with journalists and opinion leaders, and compiling analytical reports. “My knowledge of English and insights into international PR practices, as well as research skills that I got while doing projects at NC State, benefit me a lot in my position.”
Outside of his professional life, Gritsenko enjoys mountain biking. During his studies in the U.S., he explored trails in western North Carolina. He recalls having fun with his American friends and how they joked about him being a Russian who does not drink alcoholic beverages.
From biking to studying in the classroom, Gritsenko said he wouldn’t change a thing about his time at NC State. When asked about what advice he would give to rising juniors and seniors looking for jobs after graduation, he said, “Have a compelling LinkedIn profile and resume. Tips about resume building online are not as helpful, but I met with Dr. Joann Keyton, a communication professor and graduate internship program coordinator, who organized training sessions for students seeking internship and employment. That was really useful.”